The Amalfi Coast in 8 days — Capri
Getting to the ferry terminal in Naples proved rather problematic as the map suggests it’s a fairly easy walk but as we were lugging around a big suitcase, any wrong turn can be quite frustrating. We’d read that it’s not recommended to buy tickets in advance because they’re for specific boats, but be aware that they do hike the prices up for travelling on the day and the times listed on websites might not match the ones printed on the departure board. A short while later, the boat pulled in bringing with it a huge raincloud which opened up as soon as we got on board. I spent the journey looking out of the window at the lightning, and Riz spent it fast asleep on the seat.
The rain had stopped by the time we’d reached Capri, and we had a beautiful view of the island as we arrived. It’s a stunning place, the harbour is quite small but built up into the massive hill, which has a cable car that runs to the town of Capri.
We were staying in Anacapri which is the larger of the two towns, it’s accessible by road (unlike Capri) so we took the bus there. Bus travel in Capri seems like a good idea but it’s very frustrating. It’s extremely cheap, only a few euros for a 30 minute journey, but the buses are tiny and always full. Depending where you are, you might find that several buses pass you by without even stopping. If you have somewhere to be, like a scheduled ferry, don’t take the bus.
This might be controversial, but I prefer Anacapri to Capri. We spent two nights in Anacapri but I found the town charming, with it’s quiet cobbly streets and low lighting, and the quantity of nice restaurants. Capri on the other hand was a lot busier with tourists and generally not as beautiful. The views are stunning from both places.
Our first day started at the Grotta Azzurra(again, staying in Anacapri meant that we could get the bus there easily rather than paying more to go there by boat and have to wait until you can be transferred onto a rowboat) which although it is definitely a tourist trap, is undeniably beautiful. It’s expensive at €13 + tip for a 5 minute trip in the grotto, and swimming is prohibited but that didn’t stop our guide from asking if we wanted to do it.
For lunch we had a pizza again — pizzas feature quite heavily in the tale of this holiday — but this was a mini takeaway pizza, freshly made to order. The dough was comparable to the Neapolitan pizza so we knew we were onto a winner.
That afternoon we headed into Capri town on the bus, in order to do one of the longer walks around the island which all leave from Capri. There’s an ice-cream shop called Buonocore Gelateria which make homemade waffle cones in front of you, as well as amazing ice-cream to go in it. Definitely worth a visit.
Our walk took around 2 hours and went around the side of the island so you see some dramatic cliffs and cave systems, and a ‘natural arch’ (which had some sort of construction work going on at the time of our trip!) but is a fairly easy walk. One of the nicest things about it was how quiet it was, which makes a nice change from Capri.
From Anacapri there is a chairlift which takes you up Monte Solaro, the highest point on the island and some of the best views of the surrounding islands. We did this on our second day quite early on, as the queues can be quite long later on (once the tour buses start arriving). I admit to being a little apprehensive about the chairlift, it doesn’t seem like the safest method of transport and to get on you just need to time it well and jump on, but my fears went away once we were safely on. It’s quite a relaxing experience actually!
As I mentioned already about the buses, our plan was to head back to the marina for a boat to Sorrento, but they’re timetabled for every 20–30 minutes, and at least two just drove past us. We were at the stop by the market, and I think you can get this bus from slightly further up the road which must have been where the other passengers got on. They charge extra for baggage as well when it’s busy. Still, the taxi was quoting us €25 so it was still cheaper than that.
Hydrofoils to Sorrento seemed fairly frequent from Capri and we had no trouble getting one as soon as we arrived. Well, if by no trouble you mean you had to run for it and jump on just as the gangplank was being withdrawn.